Sometimes after time creates distance between a disaster and your awareness of said disaster, it's easy to forget all about the people who are still suffering. Which is why this new information about radiation being found in baby formula in Japan is so shocking. We're still seeing ill effects at the Fukushima nuclear plant and its surroundings, and as higher than normal (which is scary phrase) radiation levels are found in milk that is given to babies as young as 9 months, it really hits home.
Parents already worry about the safety of our children, but when you're in an area susceptible to earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear meltdowns that can cause your children to develop cancer, well, that's when I might throw in the towel.
Even though experts are saying it's not an incredibly high dose, this radiation, called radioactive cesium, can cause a lot of damage in a tiny body. Or as one person pointed out, no one would want to give it to their child, no matter how small the dose.
Babies are rapidly dividing cells and reproducing more radiation damaged cells they'll live with forever. This radiation can permanently infect their bodies and wreak havoc. The milk has been recalled, but since the only way this type of radiation can get into a supply is through "nuclear fission from a nuclear reactor or spent fuel," it probably won't be the last time it's found.
This has got to be an incredibly scary time to be a parent of little ones in Japan. Simply by being near the nuclear reactor, you'll wonder what's in the air that could give your babies cancer. You might feel a little bit doomed. Having the baby milk supply tainted to the point of recall would probably put me over the edge.
This is why I'm going to donate to the Red Cross to help continue their efforts on the ground in Japan. Providing food for babies is one of the many things they do, and clearly that needs to be an ongoing priority.
Do you worry about raising your children near a nuclear plant?
Image via jonfeinstein/Flickr